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Friday, February 22, 2013

Ride the Cyclone - A Loop-de-loop of a Show! WOW!

When the Citadel announced their season last spring and Ride the Cyclone was on the list, I have to admit I over-looked it.  It's description referenced the tragic deaths of 6 teens at an amusement park in a small town in Saskatchewan and I thought it was probably a sad piece about the loss of young lives.  However, in January, I started to read things in my twitter and FB feed from friends in Calgary about the show.  Few specific details were mentioned, but the overwhelming response was WOW.  So I reread the description:

"Ride the Cyclone spotlights a teenage chamber choir from Uranium, Saskatchewan who died in a roller coaster accident at a traveling fair. Karnack, a mechanized fortune-telling machine, feels responsible for the young choir’s demise, and gives the teens a chance to express themselves to the world after death. Ride the Cyclone is their final recital, where they celebrate their individuality while coming to terms with their untimely demise."

Hmmmm... Maybe there was something more there? Well, tonight I was lucky enough to see the first Preview of the show at The Citadel Theatre and was blown away.  This is no sad recollection.  This was a riotous, irreverent, musically wow-filled show.  I totally understand the description.  I don't even want to say too much in this post, because I think it is better to just experience it, but it was outstanding.  The music, performed excellently by the six member cast and band, demonstrates a wide variety of musical influences, from Rocky Horror Show, to Spring Awakening, to traditional Broadway belt, Rap, a touch of David Bowie, classical and even the recorder.  I am missing more - but even with all these styles it is wonderfully cohesive.  Each song has it's own surprises.  You can tell they have been touring with this show for a little while because it is sharp and tight.  Like a real roller-coaster it swings you from side to side and up and down and is full of twists and turns.  Nothing is predictable and it's magic comes from it's low-tech simplicity with a hint of nostalgia.  It is truly laugh out loud and yet it has these moments of real sadness and quiet emotion. It's also irreverent and saucy.  I am happy to be going back to see it a second time. I was not alone in my appreciation.  The audience gave it one of the fastest standing ovations I have ever seen.  A truly magical Canadian musical!


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